John Roberts gave us little to work with in his nice little seven-minute opening statement, so everyone's talking about the baseball analogy.
One thing is to say that umpires have enough room to manuever that it really matters who does the umpiring. That's the Democrats' rhetorical move on the metaphor, but it's an exactly correct reminder that it does matter who decides, even when the judges are doing their utmost to be modest and neutral and principled.
Some people think the baseball metaphor was a wonderfully folksy touch that will reach out to ordinary Americans.
You know what my first reaction was? Great, a sports metaphor. The man is accused over and over of not caring about women's rights and the first thing that comes out of him is a sports metaphor. For decades, I have negatively judged men who, speaking to a general audience, fall back on a sports metaphor. It says: I come from the world of men. My reference points are men's things. I will speak in a way that will make men feel welcome and at home, and women can come along if they've taken an interest in the same things.
And you needn't tell me about all the women who care about sports or how important sports are. Sports are exactly as important and sex-related as fashion. And think how you would have felt if John Roberts had built his little homily around a fashion metaphor.